Edrissa Sallah, a Gambian professional coach based in the United Kingdom, over the weekend staged an under 15 category football tournament with the aim to celebrate the memory of the Late Alagie Housainou M.M. Njai. The tournament was played at the KG5 Mini-stadium in Banjul.
The tournament brought together eight teams to promote grassroots football in the country and also give chance to young players to showcase their talents.
Kanifing Estate based team, Best Football Academy clinched the trophy after defeating Makkan Bi in the final on 5-4 post-match penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw in the regulation time.
Mr. Sallah said the tournament was geared towards promoting grassroots football in the country, noting that the country is lacking behind in football development compared to other countries.
He added that they are also trying to establish contact wherever they can to help kids that have football as their passion to improve, adding that the main objective of the tournament is to honour the Late Alagie Housainou M.M. Njai who has done tremendously well in developing grassroots football in the country.
“In life, it is always good to give back to where you came from. I am a UK-based coach and all am trying to do is to have contact in UK to help football development in the Gambia and I will be hard on that every day until it is successful,” he said.
He said to develop grassroots football in The Gambia, the country must have facilities where kids can play football and practice, adding that grassroots is the backbone of any country.
He called on football stakeholders to come together and help in the development of football by starting from the grassroots.
Sang Ndong, technical director of The Gambia Football Federation (GFF) said the most important thing in football is the grassroots and youth level, while expressing delights to Edrissa Sallah for staging this tournament for U-15 in the country.
He said Mr. Sallah is the kind of people the country needs to help towards the development of grassroots football, adding that his office will always be pleased to be part of the initiative.
Willy Abraham said the initiative was an important one because he loves watching and seeing children playing football at tender ages, while calling on other Gambians in Diaspora to emulate Edrissa Sallah in encouraging children football.
Modou Musa Njie, son of the Late Alagie Housainou M.M. Njai thanked Edrissa Sallah for remembering his father’s tireless effort in the development of the country’s football, saying, “These are the kind of things we would like to be having to help develop the country’s grassroots football.” He said.